We’ve had some house guests lately, so I wanted to have some homemade treats on the counter available for snacking. These pumpkin brownies from Martha Stewart are seasonal, gorgeous and intriguingly spicy. A bit of cayenne pepper deepens the chocolate flavor; cinnamon and nutmeg compliment the pumpkin. They are extremely rich, so cut them into small squares.
Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
Makes 16-25 square brownies
8 tblsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for pan
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tblsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups solid-pack pumpkin
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan or dish. Line bottom of pan with parchment and butter the lining.
2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cayenne and salt in a large bowl; set aside. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until fluffy and well combined, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in flour mixture.
4. Divide batter between two medium bowls (about 2 cups per bowl). Stir chocolate mixture into one bowl. In other bowl, stir in pumpkin, oil, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer half of chocolate batter to prepared pan smoothing top with a rubber spatula. Top with half of pumpkin batter. Repeat to make one more chocolate layer and one more pumpkin layer. Work quickly so batters don’t set.
5. With a small spatula or butter knife, gently swirl the two layers together to create marbled effect.
6. Bake until set, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool in a pan on a wire rack. Cut into small squares.